Samsung may soon introduce its first smartwatch, known as the Galaxy Gear, should a recent trademark filing prove accurate.
A newly discovered filing from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) confirms Samsung's intention to produce smart wearable technology. Listed as a Samsung Galaxy Gear, the trademark's description is rather vague and open-ended.
Here's an excerpt from the filing:
Wearable digital electronic devices in the form of a wristwatch, wristband, or bangle are capable of providing access to the Internet and sending and receiving phone calls, electronic mail, and messages.
Based off the renderings, the display appears to offer touch controls. Other smartphone functions are also present, including power, Micro-USB, and a speaker.
Also of note, the patent and accompanying images hint at a bendable screen, something to which Samsung is no stranger. Samsung has demonstrated on multiple occasions (also here) that a flexible display is coming to its products sooner or later.
It is unclear if the Galaxy Gear will be Android-powered or if it will operate using a different, even simpler, OS. One outside possibility is that the device pairs with smartphones of all operating systems via Bluetooth and provides notifications at the wrist.
On the other hand, it makes perfect sense for the ambitious electronics giant to form a watch with Android at its core.
The Galaxy branding suggests that, as with the Galaxy Muse music accessory before, the Gear could work exclusively with Galaxy smartphones and tablets. I'd expect, at a minimum, a fuller watch experience with health and fitness-related features, like the Jawbone UP or Nike FuelBand.
Samsung confirmed plans to release a smartwatch back in March, but didn't disclose availability or hardware details. "We've been preparing the watch product for so long," Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of Samsung's mobile business, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "We are working very hard to get ready for it. We are preparing products for the future, and the watch is definitely one of them."
Samsung's next official product announcement will come on September 4, where the company is expected to reveal the Galaxy Note 3 phablet in Berlin. The "Unpacked" event could also yield other Samsung goodies as well.